“This Season of Fresh Loss”Matthew Müller (Fiction ’10) Interviews Katie Runde (Fiction ’12) for The Millions

Fiction alumn Matthew Müller recently interviewed Katie Runde, also a fiction alumn, in The Millions about Runde’s debut novel, The Shore. Read an excerpt of the interview below.

Matthew Zanoni Müller: This novel makes great use of inter-textual elements. I’m thinking here especially of the GBM wives’ online discussion forum, which becomes so central to not only the novel’s tension, but also the ways in which we understand the characters in the book. I’m also thinking here of the use of old emails and the text messages that the girls send to their mother, their friends, and their love interests. What possibilities did giving the reader access to these posts, emails, and messages open up in the telling of this story?

Katie Runde: More than any part of the book, the GBM wives’ posts felt like they wrote themselves, like I was totally possessed and this voice that just needed an outlet was pouring out. I would bet a lot of people have made up a username and turned to one of these kinds of forums at some point—we go there when we have questions that Google or doctors or our loved ones can’t answer, and when we need to find someone out there going through this same, very specific thing that we’re going through. You can say things there that are vulnerable because it’s anonymous. In The Shore, there’s another layer of tension in the forum interactions, of sadness that these two characters are sometimes writing messages from the same house, but can’t say these things out loud to each other.

I also loved writing the old emails. I would give anything to have the old IMs and emails I sent in college and my early 20s, feeling so lonely and independent at the same time. I think finding relics and evidence of old versions of yourself, or someone you love and you’re losing, is such a comfort, a reminder that life is long, and there are so many versions of ourselves, and the one in the midst of this season of fresh loss won’t be the ones we are forever.

Find the rest of the interview here: https://themillions.com/2022/09/the-millions-interviews-katie-runde.htm